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D2003-48

Dear Daisy Dog

We would like to surprise our children with a puppy under the Christmas tree. Are golden retrievers good with children?

Daisy Responds

You’ve asked one question, but I’ll address two.

The holiday season is the wrong time to introduce a new dog to the household. Your family will be distracted by extra activities, and your home is likely to be noisy with visitors.

In addition, the house will cluttered with decorations, extension cords and gifts – hardly a puppy-safe environment.

Give your children a leash and a dog training book, and let them figure out their special gift. They’ll get to fully enjoy their other presents, and then have a say in choosing their dog after the holidays.

Now the question of what dog to join your family. My brother is a golden retriever, and I think they are wonderful family dogs.

But no one breed is perfect for every family, as even my brother will tell you. To find the breed that best matches your family’s personality, read The Right Dog for You, by Daniel Tortora.

If you decide on a golden retriever, go to www.dvgrr.org/puppy.asp for a checklist of questions to ask before you buy a puppy. Look through the website and consider adopting an adult who is already house-trained and past the teething stage.

Or take the family to the shelter and meet many dogs, so you can find the perfect dog to join your family.

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